Kherbit Beit Zakariya clobbered by the Israeli occupation Demolishing residential house and water wells

Kherbit Beit Zakariya clobbered by the Israeli occupation Demolishing residential house and water wells
 On the early morning of Tuesday, July 5, 2011, the Israeli occupation forces accompanied with bulldozers demolished Palestinian house and several water wells in Kherbit Beit Zakariya located at the western rural area of Bethlehem governorate within the heart of what the Israeli call the Etzion settlements’ bloc southwest of Bethlehem city.

The targeted house is about 75 square meters of 2 rooms and a kitchen, a bathroom owned by Mahmoud Khalel Mohamad Sa’ad and inhabited by 10 members; all of whom became displaced, and homeless, where the only place left for them to live in is a cave located 10 meters from where their home was demolished.

Furthermore, the Israeli occupation soldiers terrorized the residents of the house, especially children and threatened to kill any resident who approaches or resist the bulldozers while the demolishing process was carried out. Even more, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the residents to remove any of their house possessions during the demolition, and asked residents to leave the area allegedly for being classified as closed military area.
The owner, Mr. Sa’ad indicated with an interview with ARIJ Filed workers that the Israeli Civil Administration verbally and unofficially warned him about 6 months ago  he to halt the construction under the pretext that the area is under the Israeli control, (within what is classified as area “C”) and it was built without a license. The demolition took place even though the Israeli court didn’t make any official decision to demolish the house. He added that the house was built in year 2010. The targeted house fall within the overall land owned by Mr. Sa’ad who own some 110 dunums of cultivated land. He added that the Israeli Civil Administration confiscated some 50 dunums of his land in the year 2000 to be annexed to the nearby Israeli settlement El’azar as a construction site for new housing units to the Israeli settlers. Furthermore, the Israeli bulldozers destroyed water well near the targeted house; used by the Sa’ad family and other nearby families for their daily needs for drinking.
Demolishing Water Wells
Simultaneously, the Israeli Army dispatched other bulldozers to several locations around   Kherbit Beit Zakariya and demolished to the point of total ruin 4 water wells used by farmers for land irrigation. The Israelis impose total restriction on water extraction and allows it exclusively for the Israeli settlers. This is a frequent act by the Israeli Civil Administration to restrict the Palestinian from their right to adequate supply of water.
Israeli Settlers’ Violence
More to that; the owner of the targeted – demolished house had had a different episode with the Israeli settlers but of different nature when group of settlers from near by settlements attacked  his cultivated fields destroying and uprooting more than 500 cucumber plants and at least 35 grape-vine plants. Even though this attack was not led by the Israeli soldiers but defiantly was protected by them, which sheds a light on the entire relationship and cooperation between the Israeli settlers and the Israeli Army to terrorize the indigenous Palestinians of the land.
Legal & International Status
The systematic house demolition campaign carried out by the Israeli Occupation Army in the occupied Palestinian territory contradicts the International Humanitarian Law, and the International Law Rules and Conventions and the United Nations resolutions.
  • Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: Israel is prohibited to demolish Palestinian houses according to the Convention which provides that: ‘Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.
  • Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that:  ‘extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly’ is a grave breach of the Convention.
  • Moreover, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) Article 5 provides that: ‘States’ or Parties must undertake to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in all of its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights: (e) in particular … (iii) the right to housing’.
  • In the year 2004 the United Nations Security Council called on Israel to stop demolition of Palestinian homes under Resolution No. 1544-(2004), the resolution states: ‘The Security Council called on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, particularly the obligation not to undertake home demolitions contrary to that law’
  • Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provide: In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.
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Categories: Demolition